Office Of Small Business Assistance
I spent my first career in commercial lending and while I enjoyed that work, I always wanted to work for and within my community. As a Black woman, I was hungry for a way to help communities of color build generational wealth and spent a lot of time serving on boards of micro-enterprise development agencies. After the birth of my children, I finally got to a point where I fully understood what the word “generation” meant. I wanted to live a life of legacy that they could be proud of. To invest in an organization that builds businesses owned by people of color and women was the opportunity that PBDG offered me.
Whereas with a restaurant you might have to wait until the end of your ten year lease to move to a better spot. Years ago my grandmother, who was a school teacher, made extra money selling stories mostly about old Cape Cod to both regional and national magazines. Today, the big opportunity for freelance writers is for online content marketing.
You shouldn’t start a business and try to follow what your competitors are doing. And you shouldn’t just try to “be better.” Instead you want to be different in a way that really matters to your customers. In other words you want to design your business around a true competitive advantage. If you carefully design your business model and product selection, customers will likely start to find you through Amazon’s search engine.
Let me give you an example of someone I know who began his own moving company, Larry O’Toole. Larry began his career as an engineer but wanted to try something different. While he was thinking about what to do, he tried offering moving services by renting his roommate’s van.
When in doubt go for a busy location first, as opposed to a “cute” location or a much lower lease price per square foot. Like any business you should come up with a plan and a way to differentiate yourself. Maybe you specialize in promoting independent flower shops for example. Regulations on operating a commercial kitchen from your home vary considerably by state and type of food.